Even before we rang in a new decade in January 2020, a digital transformation was underway and traditional consumer behaviours were shifting. But the rate of change accelerated dramatically this year and the way our markets and our industry works is also transforming rapidly.
As the start of a new decade and a restart to the Chinese Zodiac cycle, 2020 had all the promise of prosperity and new beginnings. And while it did bring change, it wasn’t exactly what most of us had expected when setting our intentions for the new year.
In the final webinar of ‘The changing behaviour series’ the team review what’s happened one month on from non-essential retail stores reopening and the second weekend of bars and restaurants around England opening their doors for customers.
On 4th July bars, hotels and restaurants across England opened their doors to customers after three months of lockdown. The UK hospitality sector is one of the UK’s largest employers with 3.2 million workers in the sector in 2018 and since lockdown began job cuts and closures in the sector have regularly made the headlines.
‘Super Saturday’, as it was affectionately known, saw people queuing up to sit in their favourite pub to enjoy socially distanced drinks. To assess the levels of confidence in returning to places of leisure and entertainment, our team at Blis analysed patterns of consumer behaviour and compared them with patterns from the week of 24th February – 1st March.
From a distance the signs are indicating that this will look like a rapid recovery for the UK economy, with Andy Haldane, Economist at the Bank of England saying, “The recovery in the UK is coming ‘sooner and faster’ than expected, leaving us optimistic for a V-shaped bounceback”. However, while we’re in the thick of it, expect a series of interruptions and false starts until the risk of additional spikes and waves of COVID-19 reduces and further lockdowns become more remote.
For more than 100 days the UK has been under various states of lockdown. Over the last number of weeks those lockdowns have eased significantly, with non-essential retail opening mid-June and pubs and hospitality this past weekend.
With so many uncertainties, the question to ask isn’t what will change in three- to six- months’ time but what won’t change. What are the inherent human truths that underpin behaviour and decision-making?
COVID-19 has brought chaos everywhere it goes. And it’s also brought change, both negative and positive. In a recent webinar with Appetite Creative Solutions we looked at how more change took place in 10 weeks than was predicted to take place in 10 years.
As U.S. states have now reopened in some capacity, there are several signs that consumers are cautiously re-entering the market with safety measures in place. Those early indicators include: